What We Have Been Drinking–12/17/2012

Over the course of a week, I taste a bunch of wine, usually with friends, and almost always with my wife. Here are some of the wines we tasted this last week that stood out:

2001 Château Bastor-Lamontagne Sauternes: Retail ~$25. A friend brought a Stilton to dinner, so I ran down and grabbed the first Sauternes that I could find. The color is still relatively light, and the nose was fantastic. On the palate bunches of honey coated apricots with a slice of pear thrown in. This really was delightful and a great pairing with the cheese. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.

2003 Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard: Retail ~$55. Initially tight and reserved which was a bit of a surprise given BC’s reputation for bigger wines (this was labeled at 14.9%). As the air crept in, though, the fruit came out, including some red berries and some vanilla. It never became a huge wine, which is fine with me, and was a nice accompaniment to the filet de porc en croûte. Outstanding. 90-92 points.

2009 Chad Pinot Noir: Retail ~$25?. This was by no means a horrible purchase: $15. It is not a mind blowing Pinot by any means, but it has nice fruit and can hold up to a meal. Having said that, there are some issues, mainly it is quite thin on the mid-palate. Still I would probably buy this again. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.

NV Pascal Doquet Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru:Retail ~$45. Corked. Badly corked even—to the point of being undrinkable. Good thing I served it during a dinner party we were throwing (and I did not have a back-up). Then our guests started to rib me for ‘the Champagne Guy not having another bottle of Champagne ready (or something equally ‘hilarious’). Live and learn, I guess. Scratch them off the invite list (kidding, I think). Not Rated–Flawed.

NV Dow Porto Fine White: Retail ~$20. I do not see a lot of white port, so when the chance came along, I had to snatch this one up and I was very excited to pop this bad boy with our trio of desserts. It was just a touch to the amber side of things with an enticing nose of honey and even a bit of ginger. It was quite good on the palate, with great balance and flavor. This was not a mind blowing port by any means, but white ports are not designed to be. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.

2006 Morgan Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard: Retail ~$45. I went down to the basement, after dinner had been made so I was a bit pressed for time. I went to the Pinot rack since we were having roast pork. I grabbed this for no real reason. Popped and poured. Expressive and fruity on the nose with a bit of anise, inviting you in…. On the palate great fruit upfront, but a bit of an austere mid-palate, followed by a great finish. An interesting, enjoyable wine. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

NV G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne Cordon Rouge Brut: Retail ~$35. This is not one of my favorite champagnes since it is a bit on the sweet side. There is some nice brioche notes and a nice mousse, and it is better than most domestic sparklers, but I am not sure that it merits the normal price tag. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.

2011 Rocca dei Sanniti Greco di Tuffo DOCG: Retail ~$15. I have said it before here that I do not understand Italian wines. Well, I really do not understand white Italian wines. At all. Now before my fine Italian wine fans get all uptight, I will be the first to admit that I have not had a ton of Italian whites and the wines I have had are not near the top of anyone’s ‘Great Italian White Wine’ list. Nonetheless, Meh. This wine was at best, ‘kind of’ drinkable. No character and very little flavor. The best thing? 13.5% alcohol. Yikes. Average (at best). 76-78 Points.

NV Taittinger Champagne La Française Brut: Retail ~$45. Drier and more focused than the Cordon Rouge that we had immediately prior. I have had this for quite some time, but it is holding up rather well. Being a larger house NV Brut Champagne, there is not a whole lot that leaps out of the glass, but a fine sparkler. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

20121218-090204.jpgWINE OF THE WEEK: This was a bit of a tough week to pick an overall ‘winner’ and I even thought about the corked Doquet since it certainly made the biggest impression, but that would be a bit over the top (and I would rather forget about it all together–nothing sadder than a corked bottle of Champagne–well, I guess getting teased about serving a corked bottle of champagne is technically worse). Instead, I decided to go with the Dow Porto Fine White. Was it the best of the week? No, but white ports are relatively rare (especially in PA), so there you go.

What was your wine of the week?

About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Champagne, Tasting, Wine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to What We Have Been Drinking–12/17/2012

  1. Jodi Fritch says:

    I love Port. Sometimes when I am teaching wine, I will choose a Port for the class. I never understand when someone says, ‘it tastes like cough syrup.’ Clearly I was getting the ‘bad’ cough syrup at me house.

    Great post.

    Jodi @tampawinewoman


  2. Jug Liquors says:

    Great information here! Thanks for stopping by Jugalicious and liking the post about wine terms. Cheers!


  3. Stefano says:

    Well, regarding Italian wines, you get what you pay for, as they say… 🙂
    Trust me, there’s excellent Greco di Tufo out there – check out Mastroberardino’s Novaserra or Feudi di San Gregorio’s Cutizzi or Le Masciare’s Settepietre or Pietracupa’s Greco di Tufo, just to name a few.
    And trust me once again, there’s a ton of exceptional Italian white wines to enjoy: from sparkling wines like Classic Method Franciacorta DOCG (Bellavista, Ca’ del Bosco, Ferghettina, Berlucchi…) to still white wines from a bunch of different Italian regions: Les Cretes’ Chardonnay Cuvee Bois from Valle d’Aosta; Walter Massa’s Timorasso (a grape variety indigenous to Piemonte) Costa del Vento from Piemonte; Jermann’s Vintage Tunina (a wonderful blend of mostly Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grapes); Abbazia di Novacella’s Riesling Praepositus from Alto Adige; Cocci Grifoni’s Offida Pecorino (a grape variety indigenous to the Marche region); Castello della Sala’s Cervaro della Sala (a wonderful blend of Chardonnay and Grechetto grapes) from Umbria; Planeta’s Cometa (100% Fiano grapes) from Sicily… again just to name a few.
    Give some *good* Italian white wine a chance and I am pretty sure you will get to understand them, and more importantly to appreciate them! 😉
    Take care and happy drinking!


    • Stefano, I know there must be plenty of outstanding Italian white wines, but I have only had producer that comes close: Jermann. I know there must be a ton of others, but I have not had any yet. Thanks to your list, though, I have a great starting point!


  4. I have to say I am with you on the Italian whites. I love Italian reds, but the whites are eluding me. But then again, most whites elude me if they are not riesling…sigh.


  5. Clarissa says:

    I love, love love Port wine! Didn’t know it came in white either!!!


  6. Charity says:

    I’m so happy to have followed you back to your blog! I have yet to try a Sauternes, but I’m anxiously awaiting the opportunity! Great post, and I’ll be checking back often!

    My wine of the week: 2009 Zaca Mesa Viognier 🙂


  7. Wine Cub says:

    We got a great Viognier Port from Trentadue Winery in Geyserville. Not many folks make Viognier Port. (And now that I remembered… I shall ask sweetie to open that one, tonight…)


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